Our Sunday School and Children’s Church learned the meaning of the Armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18.
Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.
A soldier rushing into conflict must think of Christ, put trust in Him, and continually look to Him for strength. Only because we are members of Christ's body that we have either life or power.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Evil spirits or demons who are led by Satan, their prince, are the rulers of this darkness. They reign over the existing state of ignorance and alienation from God. Darkness is equivalent to 'kingdom of darkness,' the world as distinguished from the true people of God. The word 'dark' is used often to mean sin or sinful.
Put on the full armor of God
This means the armor God provides. The strength we need is not from ourselves. Both defensive and offensive weapons are necessary for successful conduct of this conflict and for safety. The believer has to defend himself against spiritual enemies.
so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then
Four times in this verse the believer is encouraged to stand. Because of the formidable enemies, and because the conflict is inevitable, nothing less than complete battle armor is adequate for the emergency. You may be able to withstand, or successfully to resist, on that evil day, the day of trial.
with the belt of truth buckled around your waist
Truth is the knowledge of and belief in truth. This is the first and indispensable qualification for a Christian soldier. To enter spiritual conflict ignorant or doubting would be to enter physical battle blind and lame. Just as the physical belt gives strength and freedom of action and therefore confidence, so does truth when spiritually understood and believed. Truth alone can give strength of confidence in the ordinary conflicts of the Christian life, and much more in any really evil day.
with the breastplate of righteousness in place
The breastplate covered the body from the neck to the thighs, one part covering the front and the other the back. A warrior without his breastplate was naked, exposed to every thrust of the enemy, and even to every random spear. In Isaiah 59:17, Jehovah is described as putting on 'righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head.' In Isaiah 11:5, 'Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his waist.' Both passages refer to Messiah.
and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
Ancient warfare was most often hand-to-hand combat. Swiftness of foot was a most important qualification for a good soldier. Put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.
take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
“Shield” literally means “a door,” so it came to mean a large oblong shield, like a door. Being four feet long and two and a half feet broad, it completely covered the body, and was essential for the safety of the combatant. Also essential is faith. The more ways in which a shield is used, the more suitable is the illustration. The faith intended here is that through which we are justified and reconciled to God through the blood of Christ.
Take the helmet of salvation
The most ornamental part of ancient armor, and scarcely less important than the breastplate or shield, was the helmet. According to the analogy of the preceding expressions, 'the breastplate of righteousness' and 'shield of faith,' salvation is itself the helmet. What adorns and protects Christians and enables them to hold up their heads with confidence and joy, is the fact that they are saved, redeemed, and “share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light and are rescued from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear Son” (Colossians 1:12-13) and can face even the most potent enemies with confidence, knowing they will become “more than conquerors through him that loved them” (Romans 8:37).
the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
The only offensive weapon of the Christian is the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. It is what God has spoken, his Word, the Bible. It is the wisdom of God and the power of God, sharper than any double edged sword (Galatians 4:12).
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Be alert. Always keep on praying for all the saints.
It is not armor or weapons which make the warrior. There must be courage and strength. Christians have no resources of strength in themselves and can succeed only as helped from God. Prayer becomes a duty. Believers are to avail themselves of all kinds of prayer, to persevere in this duty, and to pray for other believers, fellow warriors.
★ You can't depend on your own goodness to get to Heaven. We've all sinned (Romans 3:23). Jesus paid the penalty for your sins with His death on the cross and His resurrection (John 3:16).
★ To be forgiven and be guaranteed a place in Heaven, you need to repent of sin, confess that you are a sinner, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in your heart (Acts 2:21).
★ You can use the following prayer or your own words, but you must actually believe in your heart that your prayer is real:
Lord Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God. I confess that I have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed.
Please forgive all my wrongdoing and let me live in relationship with You from now on.
I receive You as my Savior and recognize that the work You accomplished once and for all on the cross was done on my behalf.
Thank You for saving me. Help me to live a life that is pleasing to You.
In Your name I pray, Amen.
Rev. Dr. Nicholas J. Gray, Pastor Broadway Baptist Church Sedalia, Missouri 2015